3% annual pay raises are the new normal

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NEW YORK, NY – Good news for all you hard working American’s out there. According to this year’s compensation planning survey from buck consultants, you can expect a whopping 3% raise this year.

And what’s really disappointing is that that’s a good thing.

“After the economic meltdown in 2008, companies were actually freezing pay and cutting pay and putting people on furloughs,” David Van de Voort, author on the survey said. “So we have a sense that we’re creeping back up.”

Three-hundred-and-sixty-two employers were surveyed covering every sector of the U.S. economy and the consensus was mutual: for the time-being, 3% pay raises are the new normal.

Compare that to a few years ago when employers were freezing raises altogether and reducing 401k matches and you’ll see why anything is better than nothing at all.

“I haven’t got my three-percent-raise,” Houstonian Anthony Bacon told us. “I wish. It’d be a lot easier. But, no, it’s better than nothing.”

“A lot of people are struggling nowadays,” Alan Alvarado says. “So anything is better than anything, but they deserve more than 3%.”

The good news is that employers seem willing to increase short-term incentives like holiday bonuses or added vacation time that can be paid-out once in place of long-term salary increases.

And with the economy still slow to recover, it looks like those measly raises will be around a while.

Of course, with unemployment still hovering around 7.9% maybe those of us lucky enough to see any kind of pay raise at all should keep that in mind this Thanksgiving.